Can a Jamaican apply for a Schengen visa? Yes, they can, but they must meet all the requirements and complete the application process to be successful. Since Jamaica is not on the visa exempt list of Schengen countries, all passport holders from Jamaica must obtain a visa to travel to any country in the Schengen Area.
What Is A Schengen Visa For Jamaicans?
A Schengen visa is a multinational visa issued by European countries that make up the Schengen zone. These countries are 27 in all, and they are all signatories to the Schengen Agreement. This means that not all European countries are issuers of this visa; however, most of them accept the visa regardless. This visa is mainly for short-term visits and is valid for 180 days. Jamaicans who enter the Schengen zone with this visa can stay for up to 90 days counting from the very first day they arrive in the country.
Furthermore, holders of this visa have the luxury of visiting all Schengen countries, including non-Schengen members like Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Croatia. However, it is important to note that it is not a work visa, so visitors cannot work during their stay. If you must study, the course must not last beyond the 90 days allowed.
What is The Primary Destination Rule?
The primary destination rule in the Schengen Area applies to the transit of visitors coming to Europe. This rule states that Schengen visa holders must first land in the country they selected as their primary destination before traveling to a different country if they wish to. Once they arrive, the border control officer at the airport must stamp their passport and let them in.
If they make the mistake of traveling to a secondary destination different from what their visa says, they will encounter issues with the authorities in that country and may even be turned back. This rule must be respected by all visitors.
What is The 90/180 Rule?
Another rule Schengen visitors from Jamaica must adhere to is the 90/180 rule. This rule applies to the number of days a visitor can stay in the Schengen zone. Based on this rule, the applicant must not stay for more than 90 days; if they do, they would have violated Schengen law. Furthermore, they must not stay more than 90 days within 180 day period. This rule applies if they visit two or more Schengen countries and the time starts counting the day they set foot in the first country.
Those who violate the rule are fined, deported, or banned from entering the zone for a while.
How Can Jamaicans Apply For A Schengen Visa?
Jamaicans can apply for a visa by submitting their application to the embassy of the first country they want to visit or a licensed visa application center. Before that, they must be sure of the type of visa they want. Although all Schengen visas have the same validity, they are differentiated by their purpose or number of users. Those who are infrequent travelers may apply for a single or double entry visa, but frequent travelers can apply for multiple entry visas.
Once you are sure of the visa you want, submit your application to the right quarters. Fortunately for applicants, several EU countries in Kingston have embassies, like the German, French, Spanish, and Austrian embassies, etc. Note that you will have to book an appointment for a visa interview, as walk-ins are not allowed.
When To Apply For The Visa?
To be safe, submit your application at least two months before your departure date but not later than 15 days before the date. Schengen visa applications usually take 15 calendar days, but if you submit yours through a visa application center or the embassy is handling a significant volume of applications, it may take longer.
Schengen Visa Requirements For Jamaicans
Completed and signed visa application form
Valid Jamaican passport
Proof of accommodation
Civil Status certificate, if required
Proof of financial means
Medical insurance (€30,000 minimum)
Round trip flight ticket reservation
Invitation letter, if required
How Much Do Jamaicans Pay As Visa Fee?
The visa fee charge is relative to the applicant’s age. The standard fee is €80, but there are exceptions for young travelers, such as €40 for those between 6-12, while children under 6 pay no fees. The fee can be paid with a credit or debit card or as the embassy directs.
Outside the Schengen area, Jamaicans can travel without a visa to the United Kingdom, Israel, Hong Kong, Kenya, and Singapore due to close ties between the Jamaican government and these nations. Overall, the Jamaican passport is the 62nd strongest in the world.